Francisco Mejia clobbered his way to a record hitting streak, Bradley Zimmer touts a five-tool pedigree, and and Tristan McKenzie fans batters before they even lift the bat.
Cleveland Indians fans swell with excitement about these young prospects, but none can claim the support Yandy Diaz enjoys: a widespread grassroots support buttressed with overwhelming cries from legions of fans on social media to promote the young Cuban infielder/outfielder/future Hall of Famer to the 25-man roster.
IT’S NOT EVEN A NEW THING WE’VE BEEN CLAMORING FOR AGES COME ON
It’s impossible to trace the origin of the #FreeYandy movement, which leads us to one inevitable conclusion: the movement is simply the natural state of our universe, a prophecy that shall be fulfilled lest the gods themselves crumple the fabric of the cosmos like a CVS receipt.
Throughout however many weeks it takes our dear friend Yandy Diaz to make it to the Major Leagues, I will chart his progress on these pages. Every ebb and flow shall be examined, every box score perused, every detail dissected, every verb describing a thorough search exhumed.
In a nod to the fantastic Ankielometer that Sports Illustrated used to cover Rick Ankiel’s quest to return as an outfielder, I have created the following matrix to consider the full measure of his previous week’s performance.
While other players were under scrutiny for the corners of this chart, I realized that my canvassing for candidates became nothing more than procrastination. And so, without any further delay, here is our first edition of Yandy Watch!
March 4th: 0-1 with two walks pinch hitting and then taking over as DH.
March 3rd: No official at-bats, but HBP and a walk that led to a scored run on Gio Urshela’s grand slam. In the field, Yandy tallied a put-out in the third. Two earlier innings featured singles to right, although there is no video evidence from which to draw conclusions.
March 2nd: 0-1 with a strikeout. No defensive chances.
March 1st: 1-3 with a single and a run scored.
February 28th: 0-1 on a flyout. He also failed to rob a no-doubt home run that cost the Indians the game, which is an inexcusable lack of superhuman leaping abilities.
February 27th: 0-1 with two walks and a strikeout. No real chances in left.
February 25th: 1-2 with a run. I can’t really tell what happened in this game because the box score was typed on a Smith Corona.
Diaz draws walks. The man gets on-base. We haven’t seen his bat in action much, by which I mean contact. One question regarding his value at the plate is whether or not he’ll be able to hit for very much power at the Major League level. So far this spring, we’ve not been given much to go on.
For this edition of Yandy Watch it’s also difficult to make many observations about Yandy’s glove. It’s not as if these stadiums are loaded with statcast gadgets, and so I cannot tell you if Diaz is averaging 98% route efficiency in left field or not. He’s also spent most of his time in left, which makes my matrix of prominent third baseman regrettable.
I spent two hours on the damn thing. I’m not changing it now.
Come back next Thursday for the next edition of Yandy Watch!